college must-haves
Stress balls and other stress-relieving items are college must-haves because they allow you to relax (Image via True Stress Management)
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college must-haves

College life can be a little breezier with these items you might not have considered before.

College life is full of struggles, stress and mundaneness. That’s why you need the little things in life to keep it smooth and interesting. These random but handy college must-haves are not just for utility; they can help make things a little fun, and, therefore, less stressful.

1. Stress balls

Or stress dough, or whatever little trinket will help you de-stress when you’re feeling the pressure. Stress balls are great, but if you have something else that does the trick, then carry that around.

Maybe you like to play with the silk lining of your jacket. If so, get a small piece of the fabric and have it on hand. Or maybe pressing buttons and hearing that “click click” noise is reassuring. Luckily, you can buy pens called fidget pens that have different kinds of buttons and switches you can click.

Or perhaps you’re ahead of the trend, and a fidget spinner works for you. By all means, if it works, use it proudly. Regardless, stress-relieving gadgets of any kind are definitely college must-haves. 

2. Portable charger

It might make sense to carry your corded charger around, but not when there are cordless, portable options. That way you don’t have to bother unplugging your charger from your wall every day.

You can get nice-looking chargers that you can clip to your bag; then, you can charge your phone literally on the move. When you’re on campus all day and using your phone a lot, it would definitely come in handy.

3. Bluetooth headphones

Even though headphones are college must-haves, you don’t need to buy an expensive pair of Beats. Bluetooth headphones have dozens of affordable options that are good quality, which you can easily find in department or electronic stores, or even on Amazon.

The cordless option is convenient when you’re moving around a lot; no cords to get tangled in your bag every time you try to pull them out and not bothering with plugging and unplugging them from phones and laptops — not to mention how newer iOS devices don’t have the headphone jack.

They can automatically sync with your devices, so you don’t even have to worry about starting up the music. After all, when you’ve got the busy, active college life, every minute counts.

4. Mini coffee maker

It’s overall less expensive to make your coffee at home instead of buying it every morning, but perhaps you haven’t considered it because coffee machines are bulky and pricey.

There are inexpensive, miniature home coffee makers that can fit into any small dorm or apartment and won’t cost a handful, and they are important college must-haves for your daily caffeine fix. Plus, when you constantly move locations, which is inevitable during college, it will be easier with smaller items.

5. A big, fuzzy blanket

For all those moments you just need to snuggle up in the corner of your bed and read a book, study or sleep, you can invest in a good, super soft blanket to make your place warmer and homier. There’s nothing more de-stressing than wrapping yourself up in a fuzzy blanket and hiding away from the world.

6. The perfect sweater

The perfect sweater is a college must-have because you can wear it for any occasion (Image via Pinterest)

There is that one perfect sweater that works for outdoors, indoors, home, public, cold weather, warmer weather or any kind of weather. You just have to find it. You may not realize how necessary having one is until you’re in that one classroom that feels like it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you can’t stop shivering.

Find yourself a cozy sweater that you can wear lounging around the house but also wear out of the house without it being too frumpy — unless you don’t care about that. Try to find one with the right lining so you’re perfectly comfortable in class but not overheated when you step outside. 

7. A mini projector

They do exist, and they’re not that expensive. You can even find some in certain gift stores. You connect your phone or computer, and it projects the screen onto a wall. Suddenly, movie-watching in your dorm is a whole new experience. You’re everyone’s favorite roommate. Making friends has never been easier!

8. Disposable coffee cups

If you have your mini coffee maker, you’ll need cups to take the coffee with you. Though a reusable mug is good to have around, disposable foam or paper cups, such as the ones you get from Starbucks, are useful for when you don’t feel like carrying around a container larger than a basic coffee mug.

If it’s more practical to you, though, to have a reusable mug, find one that’s not too large and bulky so carrying it isn’t a burden. You can find one with a dependable hook so you can clip it to your bag and free your hands. It’s all about the utility.

9. A prepaid Starbucks Rewards card

Despite the coffee from home, you’ll eventually be obliged to get coffee from your campus’s local Starbucks, either because you didn’t have time in the morning, or it’s the midday caffeine fix. Take advantage of Starbucks’ rewards program and pre-fill a card.

This will not only give you opportunities to save money when you get that free drink, but it will help you maintain your coffee budget — because every college student needs a coffee budget, of course. By pre-determining the amount to put on the card, you’ll be limited to keep it at that amount.

10. A lunchbox

Lunchboxes are not just for elementary school. In an effort to spend less on food or have snacks on hand to keep your going through the day, bring food from home in a small, compact lunchbox, preferably one you can fit into your bag.

If you’re someone who needs a quick energizer every couple of hours, especially during class, you’ll have snacks within your reach. This might even help you make some healthier choices.

Even just one or two of these items will be your best friend when the college life gets rough. Considering it always will for every student, any little thing will make a difference, and keeping your college must-haves close by will help you out.

Writer Profile

Catherine Gregoire

University of Texas at Austin

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